Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Get Katy Perry's California curves with the M-Plan diet!

This advert encourages people to replace one meal and a snack a day with a mushroom based meal for at least two weeks. The idea is that eating mushrooms daily will help avoid snacking during the day as they are high in dietary fibre and help you to feel fuller for longer, as well as assisting weight loss, particularly around the thigh area, as they are low calorie and low in fat but high in protein and healthy carbohydrates, without reducing bust size. This advert uses Katy Perry's endorsement, as she claims that the M-Diet is the secret to her hourglass figure.

Katy Perry's celebrity endorsement is a particularly useful persuasive technique due to the congruence model of endorser effects, which requires congruity between the endorser and consumer. In this case, Katy Perry's figure and the benefits promoted by the M-Plan diet are congruent with the ideal self of consumer, as this body shape is widely perceived to be attractive. As a result, there is congruence between the celebrity endorser, Katy Perry, and the diet consumer's ideal self which enhances the advert's persuasiveness (Choi & Rifon, 2012).

Furthermore, Chan, Ng, and Luk's (2013) research found that celebrity endorsement in advertisements is best recalled when the celebrity is perceived as being attractive, and that this type of celebrity endorsement enhances consumer's confidence in the success of the product. For this reason, Katy Perry, who is generally considered to be an attractive pop-star, works well in endorsing the M-Plan diet and provides the consumer with confidence that the diet will work for them too.

In addition, Katy Perry provides a good example of the body type which the M-Plan diet claims to achieve. This utilises techniques of visual persuasion, as Messaris (1997) highlights that consumers automatically assume a link between pictures and reality within adverts, thus consumers viewing this advert will automatically link the M-Plan diet to the body shape they wish to achieve, enhancing the advert's effectiveness in persuading consumers to try the diet for themselves.


Chan, K., Ng, Y. L., & Luk, E. K. (2013). Impact of celebrity endorsement in advertising on brand image among chinese adolescents. Young Consumers,14(2), 167-179.

Choi, S. M., & Rifon, N. J. (2012). It is a match: The impact of congruence between celebrity image and consumer ideal self on endorsement effectiveness. Psychology & Marketing, 29(9), 639-650. 

Messaris, P. (1997). Visual persuasion: The role of images in advertising Sage Publications, Inc, Thousand Oaks, CA.

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